Monday 9 July 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ Snowflake by Heide Goody & Iain Grant

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Snowflake by Heidi Goody & Iain Grant where I have an extract from their novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Tracy Fenton & Heidi Goody to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this extract so without further ado, here it is:

Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant follows the adventures of Lori, who has been dumped by her parents. She needs to find her own way in the world and one of her first challenges is to get a job. The following extract is where Lori  has started work as a cleaner in the museum and she meets James, an academic.

When I’d finished the floor, I looked across the gallery and gave myself a mental pat on the back. It looked pretty good, all glistening and shiny. I hadn’t imagined that I’d get a lot of satisfaction from a cleaning job, so I relished this little nugget. My bubble burst when a man walked straight across the middle, leaving footmarks as he went. 
“What do you think you’re doing?” I yelled. “I’ve just cleaned that!”
He glanced up at me. I realised that I’d met this man before. Twice. Those brooding eyebrows like two slightly sexy caterpillars. The old-man-in-training clothing. It was Mr Corduroy, the paper delivery man.
“Oh, it’s you. Shouldn’t you have a little yellow sign thing?” he said. “Cleaning in progress.”
“I’ve finished cleaning.”
“Wet floor then.”
“I haven’t been given a sign. It’s my first day.”
“Ah.” He opened a cabinet, nonchalantly, like the world’s laziest burglar. 
“You can’t touch that,” I said, approaching the cabinet. I read the label. “It’s, er, it’s a statue of a man from the second century CE, whatever that means. Anyway, it means that you shouldn’t touch it.”
He looked up at me then and he rolled his eyes at me. Actually rolled his eyes at me. Lots of people can’t do it; it takes practice. “I wrote the sign,” he said. “I curate this gallery.”
Whether he curated this gallery or the whole tooting museum (not that I was a hundred percent sure what curating was) I wasn’t going to have someone roll their eyes at me like I was an idiot. I was determined to bring him down a peg or two. “Well you should take more care,” I said, “you’ve spelled AD wrong. Or maybe BC. It’s wrong anyway.”
“It stands for Common Era,” he said as he altered the position of the little pottery man. 
“What? Like when everything got really chavvy?”
“It’s the same as AD.”
“After Death.”
“Anno Domini. The Year of Our Lord.”
“Not my Lord, sunshine.”
“Which is why we use CE and BCE. We like to be inclusive with our signage, although cleaning staff weren’t necessarily the demographic we had in mind when we designed it.”
“I’m not cleaning staff!”
“You work here, don’t you?”
“Yes, but…”
“You clean?”
“Ah.” He moved the little pottery man further, unhappy with its positioning. “The name’s James.”
“That’s not a very Roman name.”
“Me. Not the statue.”
 He took a nice-looking SLR camera out of a case and started to photograph the exhibit.
“You don’t work here at all,” I said. “You deliver newspapers for Mr Patel.”
“Who’s Mr Patel?”
“I mean Norman. I saw you with your little trolley.”
He looked at my name badge. “For your information, Consuela. I have been delivering newspapers for Norman because my Uncle Phil would normally do it, but he’s recovering from a hip operation. So, you can see why I’m very busy. I’m photographing specimens for an academic paper as well as juggling everything else.”
“My name’s Lori.”
“It says Consuela.”
“Yes, but that’s because we’ve not been un-retendered yet.”
“Yes, apparently the museum had to go to retendering for the cleaning contract but there was some sort of problem and they had to change their mind and swap back. And we’re currently un-retendered.”
“I see,” he said, confused. “So, you were Consuela but once you’ve been retendered –”
“– then you’ll be Lori. Well, I’ll hope you’ll be happy with whoever you choose to be.”
It was said as a farewell, a dismissal. He couldn’t have been more dismissive if he’d said “Good day, sir!” and jammed a pipe in his mouth.
I couldn’t believe he was talking to me like that. He was a shameless tweed-wearing mansplainer. 
“You’re lying,” I said.
“Oh?” said James.
“It’s After Death. Everyone knows that.”
He nodded and packed his camera away again.
“So, it was BC, Before Christ? And then it was After Death, presumably after Jesus’s death at the age of thirty-something?”
He considered this deeply. “And what about the years when Jesus was alive? What do we call them?”
Ooh, that was a stumper. I thought about it while he moved on to another display case.
“They just take a break,” I said.
“A break?” said James.
“They’d celebrate New Year and then they’d stick their heads out the window and ask, ‘Is that Jesus still alive?’ And, if he was, they’d just repeat the year.”
“A bit impractical,” he suggested.
“It would save money on calendars,” I pointed out.

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